Archive for multiple modernisms
Frank Gehry’s Disney Concert Hall and Rafael Moneo’s Our Lady of Angels Cathedral. One is flashy, literally, photogenic and sexy. The other is solid, light filled and comforting. In one people are made to feel as if in a madhouse. In the other people are made to feel more human. The cathedral isn’t sexy or photogenic, but it captures a sense of timelessness and comfort that the concert hall lacks.
Ah, the first substantive post! Let me start by thanking you for reading. I hope that you will find what I have to say interesting, entertaining, thoughtful, outrageous, serious, worth coming back to read more, and worth your time…hopefully all of those, but not necessarily all at once.
Why “Write Architecture“, well, honestly, because “Writing Architecture” has already be claimed as both a WordPress and Blogger name. I did register WritingArchitecture.com for myself, but out of respect for the two writers who’ve staked out that name for themselves, I’ve staked claim to Write Architecture.
In this blog I intend to write about architecture, specifically about making places, and even more specifically about making Modern places. I also like the way that write and right sound the same when spoken. I am experienced and egotistical enough to believe that I have some inkling about what is right and wrong in architectural design. I intend to write about what are the right things to do.
I am also experienced and self aware enough to know that I don’t know everything. I learn something every day, with every client and on every project. So there will be times when I am writing through my learning experience, fumbling my way forward to what is right.
There are those who will point out that write and Wright also sound the same when spoken. They will also say that Wright was a Modern architect. I have great respect and admiration for Mr. Wright and his accomplishments. But I tend to agree with Philip Johnson’s assessment of Mr. Wright as the finest architect of the 19th century. Wright was, in addition to being a talented designer, perhaps a genius, also a consummate self promoter. His status as a Modernist was first and primarily self proclaimed.
If I were to venture an opinion, I would say that he created one of the many streams of Modern architecture. I contend that Kenneth Frampton is correct: there is no one, monolithic school of design to be called “Modern”. Rather there are multiple streams of Modernism. Wright’s school of “organic” architecture is just one of many different modernisms. While there are lessons to be learned from Mr. Wright’s designs, his is not the particular branch of Modernism that I follow.
We’ll get into this idea of multiple modernisms more as the blog progresses. But it is not the primary focus of the blog. Rather, I am interested in how we as architects turn space into place, how we bring meaning into space to make it a place. I’ll write about places I like, about details I like, about designers I like, about principles of design that I contend are critical. I believe in making clear, simple, light filled and comfortable Modern spaces. I will be writing about how to do that.